The markets surged to close sharply higher despite weak consumer spending and soaring jobless claims. The Dow jumped 208 points to 12,650 while Nasdaq leaped 41 points to 2390.
On the upside
While Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) blamed the collapse of the housing market for widening fourth quarter losses, the homebuilder forecast first quarter results ahead of expectations.
Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) narrowed fourth quarter losses as prices improved.
On the downside
BluePhoenix Solutions (Nasdaq: BPHX) reported higher fourth quarter earnings but revenue missed estimates.
Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) reported sharply lower earnings as margins fell.
The Food and Drug Adminstration denied Medicis Pharmaceutical's (NYSE: MRX) application for its botulinum toxin wrinkle injection Reloxin.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 18 points to 713.